How To: Add a Wikipedia Style Table of Contents to WordPress
The Table of Contents Plus plugin for WordPress is a powerful and user friendly tool that allows you to add as many or as few tables of contents across your site. It can also output a sitemap listing all pages and categories.
This plugin was designed to look and function just like a table of contents box on Wikipedia so that your visitors will feel comfortable with it right away. I decided to give this particular plugin a try after creating a resources page on my blog that had several headings and a large amount of links. In the post below I’ll show you how I implemented Table of Contents Plus to achieve quick and accurate browsing of over 140 resource links.
Installing Table of Contents Plus
After you have downloaded the plugin’s zipped file from the WordPress Directory, navigate to your WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New > Upload and install the plugin. Upon activation you will notice a new option under Settings called TOC+. Click there to get started.
Configuring Table of Contents Plus
On the main options page you’re able to configure a number of preferences: position (within a post or page), number of headings needed to generate a TOC, content types that automatically get a TOC, title text, hierarchy style, appearance, and more.
I chose to only generate a TOC on pages and only if the page had ten or more headings (h1, h2, h3, etc.). This assured that a TOC would very rarely be generated automatically and only on pages with a lot of headings. Basically, I wanted to use the shortcode option almost exclusively so as to have more control over exactly when and where I used this feature.
Using the Shortcode
Next, I inserted the TOC+ shortcode into my resources page, including an argument from the plugin’s help section that allows for text wrapping.
As soon as I clicked update, I had a super convenient Wikipedia-like table of contents on my resources page. As you can see, I was able to use the custom appearance option to match the TOC colors to my theme’s link colors. And as should be expected, clicking any link within the TOC immediately jumps a reader down the page to the section heading selected.
The Table of Contents Plus plugin is extremely easy to use, customize and implement. If you have a content heavy site or even just one content heavy page, TOC+ can add a lot of value to your readers by making each section incredibly easy to navigate to. I highly recommend this plugin.